The Vampire Diaries Review: Ring the Alarm-ic!

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Turns out, Beyonce had it wrong: if you like it, you really should not put a ring on it. At least not in Mystic Falls.

Indeed, The Vampire Diaries may have returned this week with a visit to the past, but "1912" left viewers wondering instead about the future, specifically: what the heck will now happen to Alaric?!?

Damon in a Bowler

The stunning revelation that this mild-mannered history teacher has been responsible for various killings in town - due to a ring that's caused him to come back to life so many times he now makes Charlie Sheen look stable - takes the series in a whole new direction.

How will Alaric react? Will he turn himself in? Lock himself up? Make the ultimate sacrifice? What help can Meredith, Elena or any of the supernaturals possibly offer?

Considering the news that Matt Davis has been cast on another CW show, we can watch assured that something major will come of this storyline. It won't be neatly solved with a couple of spells next Thursday. Alaric may die, he may go to jail, he may send himself far, far away... but, for one reason or another, Mystic Falls High School should prepare a Help Wanted ad in the near future.

I watched this episode inside a packed auditorium of TVD fans at PaleyFest, and the screams lasted for a solid 10 seconds upon the concluding reveal. Alaric has been such a fun character specifically because he's been used so sparingly, creating a beloved bromance with Damon; awkwardly encountering Elena on the way to sexing up her aunt; acting generally exasperated at all times by his role in the battle between good and evil, yet never to the point where he backs out of any action.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Alaric is always around. He can always be counted on - by both viewers and other characters - to crack a joke or team up with Damon to execute some desperate plan. He's just never at the center of any conflict. He's the guy picked almost last for kickball, yet the guy diving for every stop in every game.

I've always referred Alaric as a reluctant hero. But now that the hero aspect of that description is in question, through no fault of his own, I can't wait to see what the arc brings out of Davis as an actor and Alaric as a person. And one final set of questions before we move on to the brothers, their bowling hats and their beheadings:

What about Jeremy?!? We've seen him die, what, two times already? How crazy will he go? And what will Elena do to prevent a similar fate for her long-suffering brother?

Now, on to Damon and Stefan: In Vampire Diaries lore, it's rare for flashbacks to take a backseat to current day adventures, but I was far more intrigued here by Damon's role as sober coach than anything we witnessed in 1912.

Salvatore vs. Salvatore

Sure, it was interesting to meet Sage, and to witness how Damon went from the sullen blood sucker we saw in 1864 to the passionate, human-hungry man we know today, the same guy who fed on vulnerable women throughout season one. (Man, remember when Caroline was one of those vulnerable women?!?) And, let's face it, both siblings can rock an early 20th century suit.

Still, it's the ever-evolving relationship between Damon and Stefan that is truly at the heart of The Vampire Diaries, and it was fully on display in 2012. Their shared love for Elena has actually brought the pair closer - in a unique, often bloody kind of way - while we learned this week that Stefan isn't the only Salvatore to suffer from some serious guilt. Damon actually took pleasure in unleashing the Ripper 100 years ago. He did nothing to stop it, and when he first returned to Mystic Falls, Damon did all he could to return Stefan to his non-bunny devouring ways.

Now? It's the new Damon Salvatore, doing his best Dr. Drew impression and hilariously guiding Stefan through steps to control his thirst. Yeah. It's gonna take Elena a bit to get over that blood-soaked image.

Forget Stelena or Delena. I'll take all the Stamon (Defen?) I can get... as can Elena, of course, who did a masterful job summing up her feelings for both brothers in a heart-to-heart with Matt.

Smaller bites:

  • Rebekah just hung out this week. Most distracting darts player ever. How did Damon even hit the board?
  • Sage is totally the Dr. James Naismith of the time-honored vampirical "challenge stronger-looking people to a fight for money" pastime.
  • Matt is sort of invisible in Mystic Falls, it's true. He should hang out in the girls' locker room.
  • Take a look now at next week's all-new Vampire Diaries episode!

So no Klaus, Caroline or Bonnie this week. And still no Tyler. But as much as I adore each of those characters (okay, three of those characters), I appreciate it when a show zeroes in on a select few and tells such a tight narrative. There will be plenty of time for us to complain about Klaroline again or wonder about the fate of Bonnie's mother.

This week, I was more than happy to sit back, learn the origin of The Ripper and be introduced to another killer I never saw coming: The 'Ric-er.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (445 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Matt Davis/Alaric has been cast as a lead in a new pilot. Of course, it is not picked up yet. The purpose of this episode is the RING. Plec is a genius. It is the killer. It possesses everyone that wears it. Wonder how Jeremy is doing?


I didn't really like this episode at all. Elena seeing Stefan that way was horrible and I felt soooo bad for him because he didn't want to do it and was trying so hard not to. Damon is basically forcing Stefan to drink blood and that's just not right. If Stefan wants to be on a bunny diet, then just let him be on a bunny diet. He needs Elena by his side to support him and that's how he can get over the addiction, not by Damon forcing him to drink human blood. I hope that Elena realizes that Damon made him do it in the next episode, cause Stefan was being good for so long.
Alaric being the killer is kind of silly but whatever, I guess they have to keep the show going somehow.


Really the same Stefan Im having trouble controlling my hunger for blood SL! This is the same recycled SL we keep getting over and over again! They couldn't have the brothers bond another way? Mean while this show completely misses out on showing us new SLs & showing us character development. We miss out on seeing how Abby handles her transition which could of taken a number of different directions! So once again we don't see what Bonnie is going through! This isn't the first time. We didn't see how she handed her grams dying. Twice Tyler leaves and we don't see what he's going through. How about Carolines father becoming a vampire and he has trouble controlling his blood urges & kills innocent people. To the point that he asks Caroline to put him in the torture chamber to try to help fix him. How ironic would that have been! TVDs Missed opportunities!


woman from the books.
Alaric! Poor guy :( All he wanted was to find his wife's killer and get on with his life but said Damon becomes his best friend, his wife ASKED to be turned in to a vampire and ABANDONED him, his gf forcibly becomes a vampire/sacrifice, he's getting killed at every turn, and now said killing is making him insane! They better make this right..ill be upset if they actually kill off Alaric :(


To anyone bitching to @BoredNow...I can guarantee with almost absolute certainty that it will say "I watch for Caroline of course ;)"...and don't forget the winky face..bc no troll would be complete without it. Which I agree that reasoning IS in fact pretty pathetic. Caroline is not the lead and will never BE the lead, get over it. While ill be honest and admit I look for your comments every week to see what ignorance you might spout off with this time, I think you should take your own advice and "GTFO of this show" (btw..the 'o' in gtfo? It already means out)
Anywho, I thought it was a decent epi though I am extremely disappointed with his they decided to portray Sage. I hope they bring more to her later on. I have always been a Delena shipper but last night did open my eyes even further to the realization that Elena shouldn't be with ANYONE until she figures out who the hell she is herself...and that's means the writers throwing in some of that strong, arrogant, some times bitchy woman from the books.
Alaric! Poor guy :( All he wanted was to find his wife's killer and get on with his life but said Damon becomes his best friend, his wife ASKED to be turned in to a vampire and ABANDONED him, his gf forcibly becomes a vampire/sacrifice, he's getting killed at every turn, and now said killing is making him insane! They better make this right..ill be upset if they actually kill off Alaric :(


who needs delena or stelena when you've got the salvatore brother's bromance!! EPIC episode!! loved all Debekah scenes, all Damon's comments and the flashbacks! Miss Caroline and Klaus though.. :(


I did like this episode overall.. and I'm glad because when i saw the promo originally I didn't understand what this Sage woman had to do with anything, so I am glad it turned out to be just a side note in the storyline. I missed seeing Klaus this week, and Elijah who I dont understand why he left. Tonights episode really showed me it could be more about friendship, family, then boy girl love. I Think at this point im team salvatore. I don't elena with either brother anymore. Even if she picked stefan, it would be overlly complicated because of Damon, and her picking Damon is never going to happen.. we should just steer clear of the "romance aspect" for a bit. I like it better like this


my only complaint is about dr fell.. she had the diary, she knew about the ring, why did she suddenly have a change of heart and tell Sheriff Forbes there was a "mix up" she couldve done that earlier.. and if that was her suspicion, why didn't she tell elena straight out???? lol I mean i get it was the storyline's way of adding suspicion to her character, but c'mon there are some major loop holes.. especially since everyone involved knows about the vmps, and the ring.


I feel bad for Alaric...he's had a tough run.
Best line of the night was Damon 'Dear diary, I met a squirrel today...'.
Just because Matt Davis was cast on another show doesn't mean he's leaving. I love how no one reads before they make that assumption. They've already said that he can do both shows. Ugh...whatever.
If you love seeing brotherly bonding then you should be watching Supernatural. Two smokin' hot brothers kicking ass across the country...very me.


It's cool ep. but it could be better :) Elena said to Matt about Damon? :(( I didn't understand her, as english isn't my native language.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie, will haunt me, forever.


You date vampires, Elena. It shouldn't come as a shock to learn that your guardian is a murderer.

Dr. Meredith Fell